The phase 2 trial is the next step in a lengthy process that the company hopes results in getting the drug, called TriRima, on the market within about five years, CEO Barry Brand said. The company is in the midst of a phase 1 trial of the drug.
The trial could grow as large as 300 patients and will likely take a year to a year-and-a-half to complete. CeNeRx plans to begin the trial in the fourth quarter, Brand said.
TriRima works by elevating the levels of three key neurotransmitters that positively affect mood and anxiety, compared to the one or two neurotransmitters addressed by most current antidepressant drugs, according to the company.
CeNeRx recently completed a new formulation of the drug — a single tablet that can be taken once or twice a day, Brand said.
The company has a total of four compounds in its pipeline. Next to TriRima, the next-most advanced is an anti-anxiety drug called CXB722. CeNeRx recently completed a phase 1 trial of the drug, Brand said.
The company’s existing investors Perseus Soros Biopharmaceutical Fund, L Capital Partners and Pappas Ventures participated in the round. Brand declined to say how much investment funding CeNeRx has raised since its founding in 2005.
Press releases archived on the company’s site show it raised a $15 million Series B round in late 2008, then followed that with a $9 million add-on last summer.
CeNeRx has six full-time employees, as well as six full-time consultants and about two dozen part-time consultants, and is focused on remaining “small, nimble and efficient,” Brand said.
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